MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Down by a run with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth inning, Michael Cuddyer stepped to the plate looking to add a brief moment of excitement to what has otherwise been a dismal season for the Minnesota Twins.
Instead, Cuddyer struck out. Then the next two hitters grounded out, sending Minnesota to its 10th straight loss, 5-4 to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
``It's tough and I'll take that one tonight because I didn't come through,' Cuddyer said. ``When I get up in that situation you can't strike out.'
Two singles and an error loaded the bases against closer Brandon League, but the right-hander converted his 35th save in 40 chances by fanning Cuddyer and getting Chris Parmelee and Danny Valencia to ground out.
Mike Carp had five hits and Adam Kennedy sneaked a dribbler past a stumbling Brian Duensing (9-14) in the seventh that broke a 4-all tie and gave the Twins their first 10-game losing streak since September 1998.
``We had our opportunity and we didn't come up with a hit there at the end,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``They're playing infield in and you figured hard contact is going to at least tie the game up, but it didn't work out for us.'
Cuddyer sent a foul ball down the right-field line early in the at-bat, but Ichiro Suzuki appeared to let it drop instead of catching it and allowing the speedy Ben Revere to tag up and score from third base.
``That's his call and he obviously he made the right one,' Cuddyer said.
With 59 wins and 94 losses, the Twins have to win four of the final nine games to avoid the second 100-loss season in team history.
``You definitely don't want 100 losses. Anybody that's got pride doesn't want 100 losses,' Cuddyer said. ``You don't want 99 losses either. You have to go out and play, and play hard.'
Ravaged by injuries, the Twins' lineup is filled with rookies and players with little experience in the majors. On Tuesday, Liam Hendriks gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings in his third major-league start.
After giving up two runs in the first, Hendriks had a 4-2 lead in the sixth before giving up a two-run home run to Alex Liddi.
``I threw him a bunch of sliders and a couple he might have bitten on but he didn't,' Hendriks said. ``It was a good at-bat for him.'
Revere had a career high four hits and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee added RBI doubles and Cuddyer had two hits.
Jason Vargas (9-13) allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings for the Mariners.
NOTES: Minnesota actived RHP Scott Baker from the disabled list before Tuesday's game and he was available out of the bullpen. ... Twins OF Denard Span (migraine) hopes to return to the lineup in the next few days. Span last played on Aug. 13 and has been limited to 65 games this season. ... Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau had successful surgery Monday to remove a cyst from his knee and a spur from his foot. ... Seattle rookie starter Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.72 ERA) will start Wednesday's game against the Twins in his final start of the season. The 22-year-old will be shut down for the season following his 28th start of the year. He's lost three straight decisions, and hasn't won since July 30. ... Kevin Slowey (0-6, 6.51 ERA) starts for Minnesota. The right-hander has lost six straight starts, the most consecutive losses by a Twins' starter since Boof Bonser lost eight in a row in 2007. ... A combined 12 rookies started the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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